Dear residents of Tri-Valley community,
Welcome to Zone 7 Water Agency’s 2022-2023 Annual Report! This report covers the fiscal year from July 1, 2022, to June 30, 2023, and highlights our key accomplishments, challenges, and ongoing efforts to provide exceptional water quality, reliability, and flood protection services. This year presented both extremes – from droughts to floods – testing our agency and community. Yet, we’ve met these challenges with the same spirit and resilience that have come to define the Tri-Valley community.
The second half of 2022 brought continued severe drought conditions, with record low rainfall and intense dry periods impacting our surface water supply across the state. This means the water we normally import from the State Water Project was not available, and our community helped make up the difference by rallying together and meeting our overall 15% conservation goal. We know reducing water usage year over year in these extended drought periods is not easy, and we appreciate our community’s joint commitment to conservation. We share more about the drought and conservation efforts in our Water Reliability section.
The first three months of 2023 abruptly swung to the end of the spectrum showcasing the unpredictability in our weather patterns due to climate change. The “Storm Apocalypse” brought multiple atmospheric river storms to Northern California with extreme weather events and prolonged periods of significant rainfall that quickly saturated our drought-parched soils.
Zone 7 worked collaboratively with county, city, and other partners to respond to flooding, working together to keep our community safe and the flood channels operating as they are intended. This emergency response begins well in advance with year-round preparedness work, and we are proud of our team’s ability to provide immediate response when needed, then to follow-up by applying for emergency grants from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) within allowable timeframes to ensure we are leverage available resources and managing our local budget responsibly. Please find more information about the emergency response in our Flood Protection section.
This shift in weather also required careful planning and calculated water supply usage. In the first half of the fiscal year, where imported water supplies that we typically rely on were not available, we took 53% of our water from our stored local groundwater basin. Having this local groundwater “savings account” is critical for getting our community through times of water shortage like the recent drought. As new water supplies became available with the storms, our team quickly transitioned to using surface water and just 7% of our water was from our groundwater in the second half of the year. Our priority quickly shifted to using excess water to recharge the groundwater basin to prepare for the next drought, carefully managing our groundwater basin as a viable water supply for when we need it most, as outlined in the Water Reliability section.
Another important step in protecting our groundwater supply this year was making progress on our Stoneridge Well PFAS Treatment System Project. This important project added ion exchange (IX) treatment to our groundwater pump station in Pleasanton to remove Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) found in the local groundwater at the Stoneridge Well. We invite you to watch an animated video on how this new treatment works and see the installation happen in our Water Quality section.
As we continue to deal with an unpredictable climate, we recognize that having more resiliency in our water supply system is more crucial than ever in planning for future generations of the Tri-Valley community. We have worked with our regional partners to make progress on major Water Reliability efforts including: